Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (NIV) Hebrews 12:1
I love watching the Olympics. The dedication of the athletes is amazing. Few events are more demanding than the marathon, 26.2 grueling miles! Marathons take tremendous endurance. Runners need to run the race with perseverance. Endurance includes a determined effort, running a steady pace and refusing to be defeated. A runner may have great talent and energy, but each has to run the complete course before claiming victory. It is not enough to be leading the pack at the first turn. The race must be run at a steady pace all the way from start to finish.
To meet these challenges athletes have to train. To increase their cardiovascular endurance they need proper nutrition and rest. Muscles need to be strengthened to prepare for the challenge. To enter the Olympic Games during New Testament times an athlete was required to undergo 10 months of rigorous training. No exceptions were tolerated. A pampered body meant a lost race. Flabby athletes received no medals. Endurance meant that obstacles did not daunt them and discouragements did not take their hope away.
Endurance in ministry is essential. There are times when I feel exhausted in the 26.2 mile race. But, I am determined to run the race that is marked out for me! The last couple of months have been a bit of a “training” setback for me. But, I am recovering nicely from back surgery and I am back on the track!
God has been good to us. The Internet ministry stayed on pace. In July, over 200,000 people around the world heard messages from God’s Word via the Internet and email. Anchor Your Life’s ministry in Lesotho, Southern Africa picked up speed. Throughout our time in Lesotho, we have witnessed God working in remarkable ways.
Marathon runners need to keep re-fueling and hydrating their bodies throughout the race. Ministries are no different. Your support keeps our ministry running the race. Will you prayerfully consider how you might be able to assist us with running a steady pace in God’s work?
I am reminded as I watch the Olympics that we all need consistency in our spiritual training to produce endurance, to be faithful in our own race of faith. It takes daily discipline spending time with God in prayer and Bible study. It takes a balanced diet of spiritual food, the Word of God. And it takes self control – setting our priorities based upon God’s standards and expectations from His Word. Training for a Christian is judging everything by the standard: Will it help me finish the race? And, when we finish the race, my prayer for all of us is that we each hear: “Well done My good and faithful servant,” from our loving Father. God bless you!
Written by Marji “Mike” Kruger